I go 0 to 100, real quick (real f***ing quick) — many thanks to Drake for the lyrical inspiration.
You probably do, too. One minute we’re feeling good — like we’re finally getting a handle on things and finally, it’s gonna be smooth sailing for a while. Yay!
And that lasts for about a day or two, if we’re lucky, and then we’re on to the next big ‘thing’ — whether the thing is school, a work project, a big presentation, a business deal, or whatever side-hustle we’ve schemed up now. Sometimes (USUALLY) all of the ‘things’ land on top of each other at the same time in a big sloppy pile, sort of like my stack of three-week old mail on the dining room table. (Ugh. Anyone else? Can I opt-out of mail?) Once again, it’s time to be on. Head down, focused, plowing ahead. No time to waste and no energy to waste.
Obviously, both our time and energy are finite resources, so it’s important to learn how to conserve them and to use them wisely. There are lots of tips and tricks out there about time management, and honestly, I’m kinda hit-or-miss with a lot of those. I procrastinate like a MF (although I’ve gotten much better, only took me 30 years or so). I reward myself with mini-Instagram breaks. I will spend an hour driving to write or study somewhere that has the ~right vibe~. But generally, I get things done, and I am getting better — especially with the procrastination.
But what about energy management? Lately I’ve been especially mindful of all the ways I’m leaking energy throughout the day, like an old drafty window. What’s draining me unnecessarily? Where am I expending extra effort or energy with no purpose — possibly without even realizing it?
Here are some of the ‘leaky’ areas I’ve noticed since I started paying attention:
- COMPLAINING about everything I have to do — either out loud, or to myself in my head. Bitching takes a lot of effort, especially when you’re so good at it.
- Wishing that I didn’t have to do certain tasks. Because, well, I DO need to do them. So.
- Doing relatively minor things much better or more elaborately than they really need to be done in the current circumstances. This isn’t the time for trying new, time-consuming recipes or spending time preparing amazing or complex meals. For some reason, cooking kind of exhausts me and in times like this I just need quick, simple, and healthy fuel. I don’t need to make those zucchini noodles I saw on Pinterest right now.
- Entertaining draining or dramatic relationships. Girl, are you a Windows update? Because NOT RIGHT NOW.
- Facebook. My old emotional-energy vampire. Comparing myself to other people’s online personas. This is all irrelevant. I’m proudly Facebook-sober again … about 1 week!
- Saying ‘yes’ to things SOLELY because I want to be liked and I’m afraid that saying ‘no’ will make someone not like me. Wah.
- Envisioning vivid and realistic worst-case scenarios in the event that I fail in any of my current endeavors. Why.
- Writing a post for a hobby blog that has about four regular readers. Whoops.
- Doing silly things with my body. At any given time (and especially when I’m anxious or stressed), I am likely to be doing one or more of the following things: furrowing my brow; tensing my neck; clenching my jaw; grinding my teeth; biting my lip or the inside of my cheek; holding my breath; making fists; hunching forward in an odd, painful position … honestly, the list goes on. Try doing a quick body-scan once in a while and I bet you’ll find that you’re leaking energy doing silly things with YOUR body too!
- Wishing I had said something to someone, or wishing that I hadn’t said something, or wanting to thank someone or apologize or to somehow reach out but NOT doing it for some ridiculous, made-up reason. Then having entire imaginary conversations in my head. WASTED. ENERGY. Just go say it.
Now that I’m more aware of these energy leaks, it’s all about becoming more efficient — figuring out how to plug up the leaks and making sure that I’m using every bit of energy juice in the areas where it’s actually needed.
You might be leaking too. Think about it. I hope this helps.